Stuck In The Doughnut Hole: Living Without Insurance, Subsidies Or Medicaid

Oct 24, 2013

Even with Obamacare, more than one million people in Texas are in health care limbo. Since the state didn't expand Medicaid, low-income people people like Sheila Anderson won’t have access to government assistance or health insurance subsidies on the marketplace.

After a decade of working with the same company, Sheila Anderson was laid off in 2012. As painful as it was to lose her job, she was excited to go back to school and finally get her nursing degree.

“I’ve done so many different things in the medical industry,” Anderson says, “Except for a nurse and a doctor it seems like.”

The classes Anderson’s taking at Tarrant County College aren't the challenge. It’s living without health insurance and knowing the Affordable Care Act won’t help. That’s because Anderson falls into the so-called coverage gap, or doughnut hole of Obamacare. She doesn’t make enough to qualify for health insurance subsidies on the marketplace, but also isn’t eligible for Medicaid in Texas because the state hasn’t expanded the program.

For Anderson, this doughnut hole is anything but sweet. She has multiple sclerosis, a chronic medical condition. 

Read the rest of Sheila Anderson's story at KERA's Breakthroughs blog